I was just sitting alone on my brain-porch when death sat down beside me.
My brain-porch is a solitary place where I figuratively sit during meditation. I look out on fields or woods, whatever landscape I conjure, and when any thought approaches I send it up the steps and into my brain. I don’t engage with the thought, as that is against the rules that are intended to keep my mind empty, and if I did so I wouldn’t be able to welcome the next thought like a good hostess. So far this strategy has aided my mediation practice.
Although I know I shouldn’t, I’ve adorned my brain-porch with yellow sandstone steps that absorb the sun and a cedar front door. On each side pink mandevillas grow in cobalt blue ceramic pots. Although it is always sunny on my imaginary porch, I eschew sunscreen.
During a recent meditation session, the thought that I will never participate in another triathlon approached. The idea that I will be lucky to do any of these activities alone, much less back-to-back, came racing toward me. I acknowledged a wave of sadness then I sent my friends Swimming, Biking and Running up the steps. Running winked at me, knowing she is my favorite; Biking looked coy and took comfort in Fletcher’s influence; Swimming started to whimper, thinking about the sale of the Hill Top Swim Club and the summer closure of Peddie Pool for maintenance. That dirty lake is no consolation to her given my fragile immune system.
Then death approached and when I blocked the steps he sat down so close his black robe brushed my arm. He was mute and seemed moronic. He smelled overwhelmingly of fuel oil, in case you were wondering. I pushed him sideways and he fell off the porch face first into the dirt where the spring flowers have started to emerge. Death lay in the dirt for awhile, then slowly got up and brushed off some but not all of the dirt. He sat down again, this time not so close. After a few minutes he wandered away, leaving a stain on my sandstone step. What an asshole.